PUNCH and Judy will not be hitting each other this summer because shouting kids may spread coronavirus.
Bosses have deemed the violent duo too risky to perform at crowded pop-up beach shows.
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They said the puppets are currently “shielding” though some private, ticketed events may go ahead.
Punch and Judy Fellowship boss Glyn Edwards said: “This summer Mr Punch will be keeping a low profile for reasons of health and safety.
“Shouting is a question that has been raised by some performers. If we do a show encouraging people to shout, would it spread the virus? Social distancing is also a concern. It is harder if kids are not sitting together.
“Mr Punch remembers the 1918 flu pandemic as if it were only yesterday and, being of extreme age, is taking shielding quite seriously. But he’s a survivor.”
Punch and Judy in Weymouth, Dorset, has ceased in peacetime for the first time since 1880.
Puppeteer Professor Mark Poulton attracts crowds there of up to 1,000. He said: “What I need is exactly what the restrictions don’t want. I want a lot of people, a lot of noise.
“But the legislation only permits 30 people in an audience and that isn’t enough to make a living.”
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